The NHS Liaison Network, which advocates for and seeks to organise coordination between all pro-NHS campaigns, has organised a lobby of the Labour Party conference on Sunday 30 September — from 2.30pm at Peter Street, Manchester.
The protest is supported by, among others, Unite Northwest Region, Keep Our NHS Public London and the Labour Representation Committee.
It will demand that Labour commit to restoring the Health Service as a public service. It is necessary because all we have from the Labour leaders at present is a promise to repeal the Health and Social Care Act (accompanied by indications that much of the restructuring done under the Act will remain in force) and no promise at all to reverse cuts in the NHS budget.
On Friday 31 August, Dr Mark Porter, the new chair of the British Medical Association’s council, told the Guardian that current policy is “morally wrong” and will threaten people’s health or lives because they will no longer be able to get treatment.
“Bits of the NHS are being parcelled off and taken out of the NHS offer year by year... there’s lots of areas where bits of the NHS have been taken out of the offer... It’s no longer a comprehensive service. We can see the effect of people to whom we have to say: I’m sorry, this treatment is no longer available.”
In an effort to save £14.2m Harrow Primary Care Trust has informed practices that they will receive £1 per registered patient if they appoint a GP to review all referrals, with an extra £1 per patient for the 25% of practices which refer the most people if they can cut their referral rate by 10%.
In September there will be a number of NHS protests in London: demonstrations on 15 September in Ealing, Brent, and Greenwich, and another on 22 September in Hammersmith, all against the closure of A&E departments.
Unite members at a blood testing centre in Colindale in North London are being balloted for strikes against closure of the centre. Workers in Filton and Manchester centres will be asked to take action short of a strike in solidarity and against the increased workload the Colindale closure would mean.
Even a few determined groups acting in unity can make a huge difference in the battle for the NHS, through maintaining a website, facilitating joint actions, and stimulating the creation of local coalitions in defence of the NHS.
Lobby the Labour Party conference
Sunday 30 September, 2.30pm
Manchester Central Convention Complex, Peter Street, Manchester M2 3GX
Supported by: Unite the Union NW Region; Merseyside TUC; Wirral TUC; Wirral South CLP; Labour Representation Committee
Coach from London: RMT, Unity House,
Chalton Street, NW1 at 9.30am. Tickets: £15.
To book or for more details: email: firstname.lastname@example.org/tel: 07904 944771